FAQs / Help

FAQs / Help

General Library FAQs

Baltic Flour Mills (pre-conversion) FAQs

Building/Architectural FAQs

Funding FAQs

Marketing FAQs

Research FAQs

Technical FAQs




Where is the library?

The Library is on Level 2 of BALTIC, behind the exhibition space and through our Learning Lounge.

When is the Library open?

The Library is open daily from 10.00 to 17.45

Can I take books out of the library?

No. The library is for reference only.

We also have an artists' book collection and a zine collection, viewable only by appointment.

We have photocopying, scanning and printing facilities for your convenience.

How much do you charge for photocopying, printing etc?

We welcome donations for using our printing and photocopying facilities.

Can I donate a book or zine to BALTIC Library?

If you would like to send in a publication to be considered for inclusion in our Library collection please note that we are a specialist contemporary art library with a collection that includes broader contemporary visual culture.

Any mail, donations and publication exchanges can be sent to:

Sarah Bouttell
Producer (Documentation, Library and Archive)
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
South Shore Road






BALTIC FLOUR MILL (pre-conversion) FAQs


Do you have any information on the original buiding?

We have quite a lot of material on the original mill and are constantly trying to add to it. Try typing 'baltic flour mills' or 'baltic flour mills archive file' into the search bar for more details.
If you can't find what you are looking for on this database please contact the Archive where we will gladly tell you whether or not we hold the item(s)

Who designed the original building?

The Hull architects Gelder and Kitchen.

When was it built?

The decision was made to build on the derelict site of a former chemical works in 1938 but work was delayed due to WWII. Work finally commenced in 1946 and was completed by 1949. The Baltic Flour Mill was officially opened in 1950.

Facts and Figures?

When the mill completed it was the tallest building in Gateshead.

In 1957 a mill to process animal foodstuffs was added to the existing buildings

At one time the mill employed around 300 people; about 170 still worked there when it closed in 1982.

The Baltic Flour Mill was the first to be built after World War II by Rank Hovis

The immense silo building, which had a capacity of 20,00 tonnes, is the only remaining part of the original construction.






Can you tell me some more about the materials and finishes used in the building?

Lightweight anodised aluminium panels: used externally to clad new parts of the building, including the Viewing Box and the roof of the Riverside Building.

Cor-Ten steel panels: used to reform existing or missing parts of the original brick structure, including the towers at each corner. Cor-Ten is also used for the interior of the Riverside Building.

Slate: Ffestiniog slate used for the Ground Floor Art Space and the back wall of the Riverside Café/Bar.

Swedish pine: used for floor surfaces in all Art Spaces (apart from Ground Floor), artists' studios, the Rooftop Restaurant and the administration level.)

Glass: Used for the east and west façades of the building; the roof of the Level 4 Art Space; the west wall of the Viewing Box; the walls of the Rooftop Restaurant and the east wall of the Ladies' toilets on Level 6.

How big are the gallery/other spaces?

Net internal floor space (Gallery/Main Building): 8537m2

Net internal floor space (Riverside Building): 1442m2

Total arts programme space: 3290m2

Ground Floor

Ground Floor Art Space: 244m2 and 4.5m high

The only art space in the building with a slate (rather than a wooden) floor. Connected to artists' workshops, also at ground level.

Level 1

Total floor area of Level 1: 510m2

Level 1 Art Space: 324m2 and 7.4m high, with additional backstage area of 68m2 and 5.5m high

Level 1 Art Space is a flexible art, project and event space. Functions include live art space, screening room, gallery, auditorium and conference space. The space has capacity for up to 300 people (seated), is semi-acoustically isolated and has a full theatrical lighting rig.

Cinema/auditorium: 53m2. Fully acoustically isolated with seating for 54 people

Cube: A 53m2 'black box', with facility for projection onto the 4 walls, the ceiling and the floor.

Level 1A

NFM and staff area: 110m2and 2.15m high

Level 2

Level 2 Art Space: 182m2and 5.5m high

Library: 145m22.3m high

Level 2A

Office/Administration Space: 413m2 Including Archive: 52m22.3m high

Level 3

Level 3 Art Space: 745m2and 4.4m high

With full environmental control, designed to meet Museum and Gallery Commission specifications

Level 4

Level 4 Art Space: 745m2and 8.5m high

With natural light through roof glazing panels.

Level 5/6

Viewing Box: 135m2

The Viewing Box is a glazed, double-height space clad in anodised aluminium that cantilevers out 7m from the west façade of the Main Building. Can accommodate up to 70 people on two-levels.

Level 6

Rooftop Restaurant: 280m2

A 'glass box' suspended between the four towers of the building. The restaurant level is formed from trussed steelwork, with diagonally-braced external bays and a movement-resisting frame in the central bay.

There are 232 steps in the public stairwell that runs from the ground floor to level 6


What is the name of the company who supplied the Corten steel for the building?

Fabriek Van Plaatwerken Van Dam B.V
Benedenrijweg 186
2987 VZ Ridderkerk
P.O Box 3003
2980 DA Ridderkerk

0031 180441800






How much did the conversion cost?

Total Project Cost: £45.7 million

Construction Cost: £24.8 million

(£33.4 million from the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England)

Other funders:


Gateshead Council


Northern Arts


English Partnerships through One North East


European Regional Development Fund


Where does BALTIC get its money from?

Arts Council funding, donations from the public, corporate sponsorship, B.Partners, retail (shop, restaurant, café/bar, publications etc), venue hire, project sponsorship.





What are your visitor numbers?

Visitor figures by financial year (records begin July 2002)

2002/3 - 630,000

2003/4 - 650,000

2004/5 - 455,000

2005/6 - 405,888

2006/7 - 391,479

2007/8 - 384,436

2008/9 - 344,379

2009/10 - 341,400

2010/11 - 373,630

2011/12 - 466,694

2012/13 - 575,574

2013/14 - 522,743

2014/15 - 515,666

2015/16 - 528,703

2016/17 - 517,233

2017/18 - 431,399

2018/19 - 504,397

BALTIC attracted 1 million visitors in its first 12 months of opening. In October 2005 visitor figures hit the 2 million mark. BALTIC welcomed its 3 millionth visitor Wednesday 9 July 2008 and its 5 millionth on 28 March 2013. In March 2019 we welcomed our 8 millionth visitor.


Do you have visitor numbers for specific exhibitions?

Yes. Here some samples. Please contact the Library and Archive if you have a specific exhibition not mentioned on the list. When viewing these figures please take into account things like seasonal peaks and length of exhibition.

Thomas Scheibitz - 149,526

Turner Prize 2011 - 148,518

Otherworlds: The Art of Nancy Spero and Kiki Smith - 129,505

Susan Hiller: Recall - 108,771

British Art Show 6 - 101,598

Kienholz - 141,199

Antony Gormley - 309,626

Jane & Louise Wilson: A Free and Anonymous Monument - 121,551

Yoshitomo Nara: 141,479

Mark Titchner: 106,025

Lubaina Himid: 145,777

NOTE: Visitor numbers for specific exhibitions are not available for exhibition pre-April 2003. Please do not ask for visitor figures for exhibitions that are currently running.





Can I interview a member of BALTIC staff to help me with my research or send in a list of questions for you to answer?

Unfortunately we receive a large number of requests of this nature and have found it increasingly difficult to find staff time to accommodate them. We have also found that a lot of the questions tend to be similar from person to person. Because of this we have developed a range of printed handouts covering the main themes.
Please email BALTIC stating your area of interest and ask if we can send any related material (don’t forget to include your postal address). If you still have further questions after reading through the material please contact us again with the specific points you would like answering and we respond to the best of our ability.



Who are the best people to contact?

If you have a general enquiry you can contact the Library and Archive

If you have a specific department related question you can contact info@balticmill.com who will forward you message to the appropriate team